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Bentley's Azure struts into Melbourne

Azurring: Bentley drop-top hit Melbourne following its Frankfurt debut.

Bentley gives its new Azure convertible flagship a Melbourne motor show outing

17 Feb 2006

ON show at last week's Melbourne motor show, Bentley's Azure is a four-seater convertible version of its ageing Arnage sedan, as well as the VW-owned British marque’s flagship.

Redesigned are the cabin and rear section, featuring a bespoke interior that’s meant to evoke a Riviera or Palm Springs ambience, as well as a hydraulically operated folding roof that takes 30 seconds to complete.

Power comes courtesy of Bentley’s decades-old 6.75-litre V8. It benefits from twin turbochargers and intercooling to produce 336kW of power and 875Nm of torque.

Bentley says a double-wishbone rear suspension set-up helps with the two-door body structure’s handling and rigidity, as does carbon-fibre under-floor cross-bracing.

Initially unveiled at last September’s Frankfurt motor show, the production Azure follows the Bentley Arnage Drophead show car displayed in Los Angeles 13 months ago with lashings of chrome in the sills and bumpers.

The last Azure convertible, available from 1996 to 2002, was built on the 1981 Bentley Mulsanne platform, a badge-engineered version of the contemporaryRolls-Royce Silver Spirit.

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